With new graphics cards being released all the time, it can be difficult to separate the truly best options from the rest of the pack. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what are arguably the top 5 gaming GPUs currently available from Nvidia. These include:
- RTX 4090
- RTX 3060 Ti
- RTX 2060
- GTX 1660
- GTX 1650
By comparing specifications, performance benchmarks, pricing and other key factors, our goal is to determine which GPU provides the best gaming experience for most use cases and budgets. We'll analyze the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one is ideally suited to your needs and setup. So without further delay, let's get started on reviewing Nvidia's top 5 GPUs for gaming.
Released in late 2022, the RTX 4090 cements itself as the most powerful gaming GPU available. Built on Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture, it features a stunning set of specs:
- 16,384 CUDA cores and up to 2.52GHz boost clock
- 24GB GDDR6X memory running at 21Gbps
- 450W TDP
This combination results in jaw-dropping performance. The 4090 routinely pushes well above 100+ fps at 4K max settings in even the most demanding titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon Zero Dawn. Benchmarks show it delivering double the frame rates of the previous generation RTX 3090 in many games. For reference, the average 4K performance is:
- Red Dead Redemption 2: 110fps
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 130fps
- Cyberpunk 2077: 100fps
In simpler esports games, it can even push upwards of 300fps+ at 4K. This level of output makes it the only card capable of true 4K120+ gaming on all games today.The 4090 also brings next-gen RTX features like DLSS 3 and ray tracing reflections. These enable ultra-high framerates with cutting-edge graphical effects enabled.
However, the downsides are the colossal 450W power draw and sky-high $1599 MSRP. Upgrading your power supply and paying a premium is a must. Availability also remains constrained for now.
Overall, the RTX 4090 achieves a new pinnacle of gaming graphics that will future-proof at 4K for many years. But it comes at significant financial and electrical investment compared to more balanced options below.
As the highest selling RTX 3000 GPU globally, the 3060 Ti strikes an incredible price to performance ratio. It features:
- 4,864 CUDA cores up to 1,665MHz boost clock
- 8GB GDDR6 memory
- 200W TDP
Offering close to 10 teraflops of graphics power, the 3060 Ti delivers ultra or high settings 1440p gaming of 60-100+ fps depending on optimization and settings. Some examples include:
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 80fps
- Cyberpunk 2077: 55fps
- Red Dead Redemption 2: 70fps
Many titles even push well into the 100+ fps range. It's also fully capable of max settings 1080p with frames easily eclipsing 100fps. Perhaps most impressively is the Founders Edition MSRP of just $399. Street prices have come down further too. At this price point, its performance trumps the previous gen 2070 Super and base PS5/XSX consoles.
Coupled with new features like ray tracing, DLSS and NVENC encoding, the 3060 Ti proves itself an unbeatable performer for the money. Balanced specs and affordable pricing make it the safest recommendation for high refresh 1080p and smooth 1440p gaming on a budget.
While a few years old now, the RTX 2060 squeezes impressive gameplay out of its 1,920 CUDA cores at sub-$300 prices. Key specs include:
- 1,920 CUDA cores boosting up to 1,680MHz
- 6GB GDDR6 memory
- 160W TDP
Real world 1080p gaming benchmarks show it still competes strongly even against newer cards:
- Fortnite: 110-140fps
- Apex Legends: 100-120fps
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 80-100fps
With optimization, many games hit well over 100 fps on average. It's also capable of 900p-1080p ultra on most titles with strong frame rates. At under $300 MSRP, the price to performance formula of the 2060 is unrivaled. Along with new RTX features like ray tracing, it provides a console-destroying experience for entry-level budgets.
Cool operation and wide compatibility make it simple to integrate as well. The sheer value the 2060 continues delivering means it's still one of the best options for those on a strict budget.
As one of the most affordable dedicated graphics cards, the GTX 1660 packs solid 1080p gaming potential for under $200:
- 1,408 CUDA cores boosting to 1,815MHz
- 6GB GDDR5 memory
- 120W power draw
Benchmarks show equivalent or better 1080p performance than previous-gen console alternatives:
- Fortnite: 90-120fps
- Rainbow Six Siege: 100-140fps
- Apex Legends: 80-100fps
It can handle medium-high settings at a comfortable 60+ fps average on many titles too. While lacking RTX, DLSS is a non-issue at 1080p. For around $180 street price, the value of ultra-smooth and high-fidelity 1080p gaming cannot be beat. It provides an accessible and substantial boost over integrated options.
Balanced thermals and power also make upgrading an entry-level system effortless. The 1660 proves you don't need a huge budget to experience silky gameplay on a dedicated GPU.
As the most affordable modern discrete GPU, the 1650 performs admirably for its price point:
- 896 CUDA cores up to 1,485MHz
- 4GB GDDR5 memory
- 75W TDP
It hits 30-60fps at 1080p medium-high settings in many titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Overwatch. Specific benchmarks include:
- Fortnite: 60-80fps
- Rainbow Six Siege: 60-70fps
- League of Legends: 80-100fps
While not a powerhouse, the 1650 provides a meaningful upgrade over integrated graphics for intense gaming on a shoestring budget. Cool and frugal power delivery means it runs off thin PC PSUs too. Speed and smoothness far exceed 720p30 consoles.
At under $150 it's unmatched value. Silky 1080p gaming becomes accessibly affordable without breaking the bank. Upgrading older PCs is effortless on a tight pocket.
In summary, the RTX 4090 reigns as the absolute performance king. But when factoring in value and balanced specs, the RTX 3060 Ti remains the top recommendation for high-fidelity 1440p gaming at a reasonable cost.
Those on a strict budget need not be left behind either, with the RTX 2060, GTX 1660 and GTX 1650 continuing to provide superb 1080p experiences for well under $300.
With an array of powerful yet affordable options, there has never been a better time to experience the best of PC gaming visuals depending on your needs and budgets. These top 5 GPUs from Nvidia ensure silky smooth gameplay is attainable for all.